Ryanair forces South African passengers to prove nationality with Afirkaans test before travelling

June 7, 2022

South Africans have condemned Irish airline Ryanair for making them take a test in the Afrikaans language on UK flights, calling it discriminatory.

Afrikaans, is a language used by just by 12 percent of the population and has long been identified with apartheid and the white minority.

Ryanair defends the tests saying it weeds out those traveling on fraudulent South African passports.

“Due to the high prevalence of fraudulent South African passports, we require passengers traveling to the UK to fill out a simple questionnaire issued in Afrikaans,” it said in a statement.

The carrier says passengers are unable to complete the questionnaire, will be refused travel and issued a full refund”.

Ryanair said it would apply to any South African passport holder flying to Britain from another part of Europe on the carrier. The airline did not immediately respond to a query about why it would apply to those routes.

The UK High Commission in South Africa said on Twitter that the test was not a British government requirement to enter the United Kingdom.

The budget airline’s new requirement comes as the South African Department of Home Affairs recently accused criminals of identification fraud and creating fake passports for sale in South Africa, the outlets reported.

Customers have since accused Ryanair of racial discrimination over the questionnaire since the language is not used by a majority of people in South Africa and was historically imposed on black people during apartheid, the outlets reported.


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